Learning Goal: I’m working on a english discussion question and need an explanat

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Learning Goal: I’m working on a english discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.Respond to 4 of the following questions making sure to label the question you are answering (#1, #6, #7, #10) with at least 350+ words and including direct quotes and page numbers. Questions: 1. Now that you’ve read the entire novel, go back and reread the passage by Czeslaw Milosz that serves as an epigraph. What does it mean? Why did Mandel choose it to introduce Station Eleven? Does the novel have a main character? Who would you consider it to be? 2. Arthur Leander dies while performing King Lear and the Traveling Symphony performs Shakespeare’s works. Mandel writes, “Shakespeare was the third born to his parents, but the first to survive infancy. Four of his siblings died young. His son, Hamnet, died at eleven and left behind a twin. Plague closed the theaters again and again, death flickering over the landscape” (Mandel 57). How do Shakespearean motifs coincide with those of Station Eleven, both the novel and the comic? 3. What is the metaphor of the Station Eleven comic books? How does the Undersea connect to the events of the novel? “Survival is insufficient,” a line from Star Trek: Voyager, is the Traveling Symphony’s motto. What does it mean to them? 7. The prophet discusses death: “I’m not speaking of the tedious variations on physical death. There’s the death of the body, and there’s the death of the soul. I saw my mother die twice” (Mandel 62). Knowing who his mother was, what do you think he meant by that? Arthur’s death happens to coincide with the arrival of the Georgia Flu. If Jeevan had been able to save him, it wouldn’t have prevented the apocalypse. But how might the trajectory of the novel be different? 4. Certain items turn up again and again, for instance, the comic books and the paperweight—things Arthur gave away before he died because he didn’t want any more possessions. And Clark’s Museum of Civilization turns what we think of as mundane belongings into totems worthy of study. What point is Mandel making? On a related note, some characters—like Clark—believe in preserving and teaching about the time before the flu. But in Kirsten’s interview with François Diallo, we learn that there are entire towns that prefer not to: “We went to a place once where the children didn’t know the world had ever been different . . . ” (115). What are the benefits of remembering, and of not remembering? What do you think happened during the year Kirsten can’t remember? 5. In a letter to his childhood friend, Arthur writes that he’s been thinking about a quote from Yeats, “Love is like the lion’s tooth” (158). What does this mean, and why is he thinking about it? How does the impending publication of those letters affect Arthur? Arthur remembers Miranda saying “I regret nothing,” and uses that to deepen his understanding of Lear, “a man who regrets everything” (206) as well as his own life. How do his regrets fit into the larger scope of the novel? Other than Miranda, are there other characters that refuse to regret? 6. Throughout the novel, those who were alive during the time before the flu remember specific things about those days: the ease of electricity, and the taste of an orange. In their place, what do you think you’d remember most? What do you imagine the Traveling Symphony will find when they reach the brightly lit town to the south? The novel ends with Clark, remembering the dinner party and imagining that somewhere in the world, ships are sailing. Why did Mandel choose to end the novel with him?Respond to these 2 different discussion boards separately with at least 150 words eachDiscussion board 1Question #3The people of the Undersea are a representation of the people who long for the old world. When Tyler was younger, the Author got him the comic books and when he asked him to explain the Undersea he said “It’s an underwater place’…’ They’re Dr. Eleven’s enemies, but they’re not really bad. They just want to go home” (Mandel 292). I think what made me realize that the Undersea represented people like Kirsten, is when she quotes the Undersea from the first issue of Station Eleven to the prophet. The response is an unreadable expression and a response that makes it clear that he doesn’t care for the old world. Their motto about survival being insufficient is important to them to remind them that surviving and living are very different things. There’s more to life than surviving and the Traveling Symphony is trying to show this message through Shakespearean plays with various communities they find after the collapse. The death that the prophet talks about in the quote is similar to an ego death, where a complete loss of self-identity happens. After the collapse Tyler’s mom who was once well adored as a model/actress turns to spirituality. She holds onto this idea that everything happens for a reason and thus starts to believe the flu happened for a reason so that the people can survive. I interpreted the first death as what let her continue her religious journey. If Arthur didn’t die, there’d be nothing that connected Clark, Kirsten, and Tyler over knowing him. Being affected by his death is what interconnects all three of them. Mandel’s theme of death that he is exploring is placed just as Arthur dies on stage. It juxtaposes an individual’s death to mass death. In events where mass death happens people are seen as statistics over individuals. Mandel tries to convey that death is more than just a statistic. It also highlights the network of connections built throughout our lives. Clark, Kirsten and Tyler are strangers to one another but are connected through this network and over their relation over the death of Arthur and how it has affected them.Question #4The novel explores memories in both a good and bad way, which is very interesting to me. Kirsten, Tyler and Clark explore their memories in different ways. To Kirsten, memories serve as a source of hope but also distress as well. Through fragments of Arthur Leander’s life, she has hope in remembering the events of year one. The way she has to collect the memories herself shows how easily memories can slip away if there is not anything connecting you to them. This makes sense considering Kirsten doesn’t remember much about year one since she was young while experiencing a trauma thus it probably was suppressed in her mind. When being asked about those who are grateful for the Georgia Flu, she says “you remember your own lost family and either want to cry or harbor murderous thoughts” (Mandel 109). Memories can bring pain along with them which may provide an incentive for people to not want to remember them. Through Tyler, we see how memories influence people’s behavior and identity. Tyler assumes the identity of the Prophet thus we see his polygamous actions reflecting his father who was always cheating on his mother resulting in Arthur leaving his family. The Museum of civilization, which contains items considered mundane, shows how people usually fail to see the value in everyday items until they are lost to them. People like Clark understand the importance of preserving history and keeping memories held tight. While on the other hand communities who choose to raise their children with no connection to life before the apocalyptic world can be saving them from the idea of missing out on anything if they never knew about it. The fact that communities decide whether to share the history with the new generations that they remember shows how preserving history is more of a communal responsibility. Though many communities of Traveling Symphonies are weird and cult-like, I think they add a layer to how memories can affect individuals. I think countries that choose to omit information about the world before the collapse have seemed to come to terms with their new realities. They accept the new world as their own and have let go of all the useless hope of believing that they may return to their way of life before. Question #5I think that the quote means that love is dangerous and I think Arthur remembered this quote because he had experience with this. In these letters to his childhood friend, V, he goes into detail about his personal life. In the letters, Arthur talks about his experiences being nineteen living in Toronto. He talks about his journey to stardom and also about the people he meets. He expresses his feelings about their friendship saying “you said you’d always be my friend but you’re not, actually, are you? I’ve only realized that recently. You don’t have any interest in my life” (Mandel 144). After a decade, Arthur starts writing letters again to tell V that he met Miranda, who is an artist. Later he tells him that he got with Elizabeth and tells about the weird dinner party with Clark, Elizabeth and his ex Miranda. After getting news of the book being published, Elizabeth and Clark panic. The book title is “Dear V.: An Unauthorized Portrait of Arthur Leander” (Mandel 140), which can be interpreted as a book published to show a mew side of Arthur. The impending publication is Mandel commenting on how celebrities are viewed in society. The private letters show the humane side of celebrities like Arthur, but they are usually disregarded as people and only used as cash-grabs because of the obsession society has with celebrities’ private lives. After realizing that he, like King Lear, regrets much of his life. He has three ex-wives, a son he doesn’t talk to much, and a fading friendship with Clark. He seems to harbor some regrets. I am not entirely sure of how the theme of regret contributes to the larger meaning of the novel, but I did notice that that regret is quite prevalent in the world, pre-collapse since after the flu, people mainly cared about survival. I believe that characters like Kirsten, Clark, and Elizabeth might have regrets as well. Kirsten has to survive, and her knife tattoos work to serve as a reminder to not forget the people that she has had to kill to survive in the world. Question #6The novel follows the lives of those who existed prior to the collapse thus they constantly mentioned things that existed before. I don’t think I’d be able to remember everything I’d miss if I were in their place because doing that would just make me realize how much we take things for granted. If I were put into the novel, I’d miss technology the most. This is because as humans grow more advanced with their technology, we become ever more reliant on it and they make it much harder to survive without the convenience that it brings. Besides technology, I would miss the people in my life. Going from having everyone in your life to nothing in a span of a few weeks is taught change to adjust to. I think I would act kind of like Kirsten as “she did remember Arthur Leander and after that first sighting she went through every magazine she could find in search of him. She collected fragments, stored in a zip lock bag in her backpack”(Mandel 43). I’d also collect things that remind me of people that existed in my life once. Earlier in the novel, there’s a chapter solely listing things that don’t work anymore in the new dystopian world. I think that once the Traveling Symphony goes toward the brightly lit city, they’ll find things they once took for granted. Things like electricity, gas, planes and all sorts of things are used in everyday life. The novel ends with “If nothing else, it’s pleasant to consider the possibility. He likes the thought of ships moving over the water, toward another world just out of sight” (Mandel 299). Mandel ends the novel on a hopeful note saying that one-day society will return to what it once was. Making Clark find out Miranda wrote the comic books highlights the importance of storytelling in society. He realizes his connection to the story characters, which he wouldn’t have had Kirsten not given him the spare copy of Dr. Eleven’s comic book. Another example of the importance of storytelling is the Traveling Symphony’s purpose. They work to preserve the culture from the old world and share the Shakespearian plays. Discussion board 21) The passage by Czeslaw Milosz refers to a world where “The bright side of the planet moves toward darkness” much like how in Station Eleven the planet becomes a world once bright with lights now shadowed in darkness due to electricity no longer existing for much of the planet. “And the cities are falling asleep, each in its hour” is reminiscent of how each city falls one by one in the novel due to the Georgia Flu taking countless lives. “And for me, now as then, it is too much. There is too much world.” I believe the meaning of the passage is meant to be the end of a world that is slowly falling into darkness and the intention is that for the narrator, the world is still much too large for those that remain in it much like themselves who is sparred from the end of the world. I believe Mandel’s intention of using it at the beginning as an introduction to the story is to foreshadow what is to come within the novel. Much like the passage, Station Eleven is the look inside a world where civilization falls and leaves those alive after the Georgia Flu with a world that is still far “too much world”. There are a lot of characters within the novel, but I consider Arthur Leander to be the main character. Arthur might not be around for the fall of civilization in the novel since his death predates the Georgia Flu virus being detected by everyone, but he is connected to all the other characters within the novel. For all of these characters, the way they view the beginning of the world ending is Arthur’s death because soon after it the world begins growing smaller and smaller due to the Georgia Flu virus. His death shakes all of them and the way that the novel takes the reader throughout the story after Arthur’s death and through flashbacks in their lives while Arthur is alive shows how the world is after his death and how the world was before his death. This post-Arthur world isn’t shining as brightly as it once was much like the passage by Milosz mentioning, “The bright side of the planet moves towards darkness”. A world without Arthur is lost in darkness.2) Shakespearean motifs coincide with those of Station Eleven, both the novel and the comic book, because these motifs are very similar in nature. Common motifs of Shakespeare revolved around order and disorder as much as life and death. This was to reflect on the world in which Shakespeare was living in at the time that was surrounded by uncertainty due to The Bubonic Plague. Station Eleven (the novel) shows a world thrown into chaos due to a deadly virus much like in Shakespeare’s time with the Bubonic Plague. These parallel each other because of the similarity to that feeling of the world ending. In the novel, this quote shows more similarities between Shakespeare’s time and how to world is after the Georgia Flu, “And now in a twilight once more lit by candles, the age of electricity having come and gone, Titania turns to face her fairy king” (Mandel 57). The world post-Georgia Flu is once again cast in darkness and lit up by candles much like it would have been in Shakespeare’s time. The only difference is Shakespeare was not alive to witness electricity while some of The Traveling Symphony was alive to see these progresses in history and only have but a memory of it. With Station 11 (the comic), it also depicts a world where civilization is lost due to a hostile group taking over Earth and only a few hundred people were able to escape and live on Station 11 far away. “The station’s artificial sky was damaged in the war, however, so on Station Eleven’s surface it is always sunset or twilight or night” (Mandel 83). This is very similar in nature to how the world is in the novel and in Shakespeare’s time where there isn’t electricity and how the world seems less bright as it once was. Shakespearean motifs are used in the novel and in the comic book because it helps to bridge a connection to worlds taken over by viruses and how those left behind find a way to cope with it and continue on even if it feels as if civilization moved backwards in time.4) The point Mandel is making by Arthur’s possessions like the comic books and the paperweight resurfacing throughout the novel in different ways points to the way every character is linked to each other much like they were all linked to Arthur. The comic books were originally written and drawn by Miranda who gifts them to Arthur who in turn gifts them to Kirsten and his son, Tyler. The paperweight was a gift from Clark, “He brought them a gift tonight, a beautiful glass paperweight from a museum gift shop in Rome” (Mandel 93), to Arthur and Miranda when he visits for a dinner party that ends up signaling the end of Arthur and Miranda’s marriage. Miranda kept it but sent it to Arthur and he gifts it to Tanya the night of his death who gives it to Kirsten to help her relax after she witnesses Arthur’s death on stage, “In the children’s dressing room, Tanya was giving Kirsten a paperweight. ‘Here’, she said as she placed it into Kirsten’s hands, ‘I’m going to keep trying to reach your parents, and you just try to stop crying and look at this pretty thing’ (Mandel 15). In this way, characters that have never even met each other are interconnected by these objects that were in Arthur’s life. This shows how Arthur had an impact on every single character within the novel and how his legacy lives on in their memories of him. The benefits of remembering a time before the fall of civilization remind those who were around for it of the life that can be built once again even if it seems lost. The benefits of not remembering to create a world that moves forward and doesn’t rely on the past to build a better future and how there were issues of the lost world that might be better left not remembered. I believe that during the year Kirsten can’t remember, whatever she witnessed on the road with her brother was traumatic enough that it distorted her memory and or its too difficult to speak of because of the things she saw. I’m sure the true survival spirit within people would cause them to do dangerous and terrible things to other people like killing for supplies or shelter. Seeing towns and cities filled with the dead from the Georgia Flu would also be really traumatizing especially if you were walking through your hometown where you recognize the area and can see that everything and everyone is gone whether it be physically or spiritually.6) I think what I would remember the most would be spending time with my friends or family at a restaurant or going to the movie theater. I also spend a lot of time on my phone and love to online shop so those things I would also miss. But really, what I would miss is the feeling of safety being just a speck in the world; living in the city, it’s almost like you could get lost in a sea of people and it would be weird to live in a world where seeing others would be harder to come by and there would always be a possibility of risk when encountering someone new because who knows if they’re a friend or foe. I like how the end of social media is mentioned here in the novel:“No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room” (Mandel 32).I enjoyed this passage because the truth is that social media is presented as this amazing feat of technology where people can connect all over the world through a device, but because of it, people are more disconnected than ever. Every moment must be documented behind a screen but rarely is it put down just to enjoy the moment. Before Covid, I attended concerts regularly and I remember feeling sad at times for the people that are recording the entire show and watching the show through their screen when they could just be experiencing the moment live! In a way, the fall of the internet and social media wouldn’t be a necessarily bad thing for the planet. It’s hard to imagine what the Traveling Symphony will find when they reach the brightly lit town to the south because, in a world that has been without electricity for so long, this is almost like a mirage to Kirsten. I think that’s why it’s left to the reader to imagine these things. I can imagine that in this town there are people that knew the world pre-Georgia Flu and maybe these people were once engineers or electricians. I imagine these people to be welcoming although it’s hard to say with how the world has become within the novel. I believe Mandel chose to end the novel with Clark was because he is the last living link that truly remembered the old world and the new world and had a connection to Arthur.

 

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